Did ABC handle the Eric Hill situation correctly on this season of The Bachelorette?

That has been the talk swirling around since the show started a few weeks ago.

Since Eric was sent packing by Andi on last night’s episode, we have now seen the entirety of his scenes and can make a better judgment on ABC’s treatment of this matter.

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Including Eric’s Footage

It seems the decision was made early on to include Eric’s scenes in this season, which almost everyone agreed with. 

I mean, would it even have been possible to edit him out? He was such a large presence in these first four episodes. His friendly demeanor and adventurous spirit attracted Andi (and the viewers) immediately. He even scored the first one-on-one date.

Yes, it was bittersweet to watch him knowing what we know of his untimely death. But I believe it was the right thing to do, both to honor his memory and provide his family and friends with details of how Eric spent some of his final weeks.

Karen Tracey, sister of Eric Hill: “People ask if it’s difficult to watch him on the show, and I do get a little nervous until I see the handsome brother that I know and love. I don’t own a TV, so I watch The Bachelorette with a good friend. I get a little tearful, but I know Eric would want his audience to enjoy the journey with him, and seeing him makes me smile.”

Eric’s Final Scenes

In what was surely a surprise to many viewers (myself included), Eric’s final scenes were tense. I had pictured Andi sadly choosing to send him home sometime in the next few weeks, simply because her feelings for others like Josh or Marcus had grown stronger than her feelings for Eric.

Instead, we saw him first having an awkward conversation with Andi on their group date. Andi asked Eric why their relationship had stalled. Eric felt that it hadn’t, but that he had been very open this whole time. 

To appease Andi, Eric revealed more about himself and how he left the Mormon Church, and Andi seemed relieved.

Eric was not. 

After thinking about it, he felt that Andi was the one who was holding back her true emotions. He told her so the next night at the cocktail party and she was extremely taken aback. 

It seemed to me that Eric was genuinely trying to be honest and have a constructive conversation about any possible relationship between them, but Andi seemed to take it as an attack and claimed that he was calling her “fake.”

Andi cried, yelled at Eric and sent him home right then. To his credit, Eric left looking dignified. He didn’t fight back or act disrespectful. He walked off like a gentleman.

The Aftermath

Instead of airing the rose ceremony, we got a sit-down with Chris Harrison and Andi. Apparently The Bachelorette producers didn’t feel it was right to show such a trivial part of the episode after showing us Eric’s last scenes.

I guess I agree with that, too. I’m not sure how I feel about their decision to air Eric’s argument with Andi as his last scene. Whether or not you agree with Eric, it just left a bad taste in my mouth to see him attacked by Andi like that.

Couldn’t ABC have acted like the disagreement happened off-air or edited it out? It’s not like they didn’t have time to change things around before putting this season together. Eric died while they were still filming. 

Or maybe that would have been too mysterious to not show why he left the show. 

Another thing I didn’t like was hearing Andi’s thoughts on the matter instead of the rose ceremony. She was very unkind to Eric in their last interaction … so who cares what she thinks? They should have had interviews from Eric’s family or friends. 

At least Chris Harrison thought the episode was great last night!

From Chris Harrison’s blog: “While I don’t think by any means it was perfect, I wouldn’t change one thing about the interview you saw Andi and I have about Eric that night. Eric was a smart guy and he was an instigator. He loved to stir the pot a little bit, and that’s what he did with Andi. When I saw that sly little smile slide across his face while arguing with Andi that night, I just laughed. Even in that moment, he was having fun. At the end of it all, they ended their disagreement with a hug goodbye. When does that ever happen on our show? We said goodbye to Eric that night having no idea obviously that we were really saying goodbye.”

What were your thoughts on this episode of The Bachlorette? Let me know in the comments if you agree with how ABC handled it.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

Lindsay Podolak

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV